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Chief Justice at post, Judicial Secretary clarifies

Mr Acheampong was responding to a letter addressed to him by MP for Efutu Constituency Alex Afenyo Markin in which he enquired about the status of Mrs Justice Georgina Wood.

Mrs Justice Georgina Wood
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Mr Acheampong was responding to a letter addressed to him by MP for Efutu Constituency Alex Afenyo Markin in which he enquired about the status of Mrs Justice Georgina Wood.

Rumours were rife that the Chief Justice was on leave prior to her retirement.

A letter from the Judicial Secretary dated 1 June to Markin noted: “From our records, the honourable Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana is due to retire on June 8, 2017.“

"She is currently at post and not on leave prior to retirement." “There is no acting Chief Justice in the context referred to in his letter. Nobody has taken an Oath of Office as acting Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana,” the response noted.

According to the letter, in Mr Wood's absence, the most senior justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Williams Atuguba has been acting since May 25.

He said the Chief Justice was expected back in the country on Friday, June 3, 2016 to resume her official duties.

Status of the CJ

Acting on the concerns of his constituents, Markin asked that the Judicial Secretary to clarify rumours making rounds that Her ladyship is on leave prior to her retirement. And also clarify whether there is an acting Chief Justice.

The NPP MP also required to know whether the acting Chief Justice took the oath of office before taking up the post.

Martin said the Supreme Court ruled in a case involving the Speaker of Parliament in which it held that the Speaker cannot hold himself as the acting president if he does not take an oath of office in the absence of the President and the Vice President.

On the basis of this, he said whoever is acting as Chief Justice must also take an oath of office.

“Where the Supreme Court ruled on the issue of the Speaker not having taken an oath as acting president, we contend that on the basis of the reasoning of the Supreme Court on that matter, there is the need for whoever is acting as the Chief Justice take an oath of office,” he said on Accra based Joy FM.

“The reasoning behind the judgement was to the effect that once you are performing a function other than the regular function that you are perform as a person holding a particular public office, you need to take an oath of office before you assume that duty.”

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